The Ann Beckett Award committee is delighted to announce Emma Connolly as the winner of the Ann Beckett Award 2022/2023


Emma Connolly

Is the winner of the

Ann Beckett Award

with her project

“Flourish and Be”


Based in Clonakilty, this project came to fruition following many years of Emma working with families with neurodivergent family members, and the constant reference to how difficult they found it to engage in activities of daily living, in particular haircutting.

As a result of this need, Emma set-up a sensory inclusive, bespoke occupational therapy led hairdressing salon. This hair salon has been developed with the Person-Environment- Occupation model and the principals of universal design as the core values of the business.

Emma’s service is one of a kind in Ireland, where clients and their families are fully supported by an Occupational Therapist throughout the whole process of the hair cutting experience. The project focuses on empowering clients and their families to engage in a meaningful self-care occupation, in a friendly and supporting environment.

The salon “Flourish and Be” is totally integrated in the commercial area in town for any, and all to access. It is a beautiful example of inclusiveness and respectfully tailoring the environment to meet the diversity of need. Emma’s passion for enabling each person to flourish in their performance of this necessary self-maintenance task shines through all aspects of the process and outcome of the hair cutting challenge.  

Emma will be presenting a paper on her project at the AOTI Conference in October and later will be presented with the Award during the Conference Dinner.

The Ann Beckett Award Committee would like to thank all the other applicants for their excellent projects. These projects reflect the values of the Ann Beckett Award and follows the foundations that leaders like Ann Beckett have laid, to ensure innovative and life changing practice by Occupational Therapists.


The Ann Beckett Award is kindly sponsored by O’Neill Healthcare. 



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